Did Jesus Die on Good Friday?

Art by Krisztian Hallai


MAY 23, 2017

    It’s not necessary to know the exact day Jesus died in order to be saved; you just need to believe that He died for your sins. Knowing the day of His death is interesting, but not essential. There have been a few people who have doubted the veracity of the Bible because they misunderstand the prophecy of Christ, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt 12:40). They say you cannot get 3 days and 3 nights from a Friday crucifixion. However, the term, three days and three nights is a colloquial phrase meaning three days. It does not literally mean three full days and three full nights.


            Otherwise we have a problem with another prophecy that says that Christ would rise "ON" the third day. Consider the many passages that affirm Him rising on the third day:


"They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." (Luke 18:32-33).


'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again'" (Luke 24:7).


"They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen." (Acts 10:39-40).


            And to confirm that Jesus rose, not "after" the third day, but "on" the third day, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and while they did not recognize Him as first, they told Him, "And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body" (Luke 24:21-23). Notice, that on Sunday, while the two disciples were talking to Jesus, they mentioned that today was "the third day" since all of this had taken place.


            You don't need a calculator to calculate three days. The only way to get three days to Sunday is to begin on Friday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Three days!


            Some assume that in order to count a day, you must have a full 24 hour day. That is ridiculous, nor does this even make sense in our modern vernacular. For example, if I told you that I spent the day with a friend, do you assume that I spent 24 hours or at least 12 hours of the full day, beginning when the sun came up to the time when the sun went down? No! You understand by my language that I only meant that I spent some part of my day with him.


            The same is true of the term three days and three nights. It does not mean you must calculate 24 hours times 3 days, thus 72 hours. That would not even make sense, since Jesus died at three in the afternoon and rose in the morning on Sunday. You cannot get an exact 72 hours from those times...



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